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L.A. Baptist Ministers President Slams Outside Influences for Interfering in Robles Hiring at WRD

Reverend K.W. Tulloss

 

BY BRIAN HEWS • December 16, 2020

Reverend K.W. Tulloss, President of the Baptist Ministers Conferences of Los Angeles & Southern California sent a scathing letter, obtained by Hews Media Group, to the Water Replenishment District Board of Directors slamming the outside criticism of the proposed hiring of former WRD Director Albert Robles as GM of WRD.

The letter started off slowly then increasingly became angrier in tone.

“We want to applaud the WRD for moving in the right direction to make the management of your water district begin to look more like our community with the recent hiring of Albert Robles as WRD General Manager. But, as we understand it, some do not care for the  hiring.

“If someone does not like Albert Robles, for whatever legal reason, or if they wanted someone else to be the next GM, that is their prerogative, but they should have the courage to say it publicly and not use a pre-textual and clearly bogus excuse that he is not qualified because he does not meet a new employment standard never before implemented.”

Reverend Tulloss was referring to the fact that Robles does not have an engineering degree or a licensed Professional Engineer (PE). To become licensed, engineers must complete a four-year college degree, work under a PE for at least four years, pass two intensive competency exams and earn a license from their state’s licensure board. Then, to retain their licenses, PEs must continually maintain and improve their skills throughout their careers.

“The tactic of moving the goal posts and having a double standard when it comes to hiring Black-and-Brown individuals cannot go unchallenged.

“If the job description for WRD GM does not require that the person hired be a PE or have an engineering degree, and WRD has never in its history ever had such a requirement, it should not be required now. In fact, the GM’s of other water districts in the area are not PEs nor have engineering degrees.”

Tulloss cites two local examples, the  Metropolitan Water District and West Basin Water District.

“For example, the GM of Metropolitan Water District is not a PE and does not have a degree in engineering, instead he has an undergraduate degree in history and a law degree from the Santa Clara University,  a law school ranked 107 in the nation.

“Another example among many more is the GM of West Basin Municipal Water is not a PE and does not have a degree in engineering, nor any other undergraduate degree for that matter.

“And by all accounts, few people if anyone opposed these two GM’s or those of other water districts on the grounds that they were not PEs nor did not have a degree in engineering.

“However, somehow Albert Robles, who has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from USC and a law degree from UC Berkeley’s School of Law, ranked 9 in the nation, where he graduated with honors, is pre-textually not qualified just because he is not a PE nor has a degree in engineering?

“Folks may not like Albert Robles for one reason or another, but to try to use his education against him is unconscionable.

“His education, coupled with his 25-years of water experience, undoubtedly makes him qualified to be WRD’s GM, so let ‘s stop the hypocrisy and double standards.

“Moreover, these facts, taken together with reports that a succession plan was covertly afoot to quietly, without a transparent process, promote a white assistant general manager to be WRD’s new GM and then promote another white employee to the vacated assistant general manager position, but was foiled by the Black-and-Brown members of WRD coming together, and should indeed be applauded.”

The letter was also signed by Rev. Jonathan Mosley, Western Regional Director, National Action Network and Pastor William D. Smart, CEO Southern Christian Leadership of Southern California

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